FIRST-TIME PARENTS CAN EASILY GET CAUGHT UP IN THE MARKETING GAME OF BABY PRODUCTS JUST LIKE WE DID.
It was time to say bye-bye baby store and welcome back to our living space which was taken over by our first baby all because we thought we needed more for him than he really did need.
I bet you are wondering why we were so shocked at the amount of money we blew on baby products we didn’t need and the answer is simple, marketing.As finance nerds we should have known better to watch out for gimmick items but it’s tough when you’re a new parent and limited support around you. Most of all you don’t really know what to expect.
Our biggest baby research tool was the internet and chatting to other parents when they noticed the baby bump and started chatting about their own children. We could have asked our parents however times have changed and parents must ensure babies are in a car seat and hot water bottles are frowned upon.
The Mrs. and I literally felt like we were running a baby goods store from the time our son was born up until recently. One morning we both woke up and said that our house was taken over by baby toys, gadgets and boxes of clothes and that something had to be done.
Our house went from magazine ready to becoming buried alive with baby brands of just about every item on the market including infant toys. As our son got older we would stash the baby stuff he no longer used or needed away in boxes and loaded them into the basement.
Since I’ve started my new full-time job and am spending more time at home I knew it was time to combat the mountain of baby stuff in our basement. Up until recent we had a walk-way around 1000 sq feet which was floor to ceiling in some areas of the basement. What was it filled with? Baby stuff of course and lots of baby clothes ranging from newborn to 4T.
You’d also find boxes of baby shoes, baby socks, jackets, snow suits, winter apparel, baby seats, stroller, umbrella stroller, 2 types of baby swings, Jolly Jumper, baby cradle and so on. Honestly it hurts to think about how much money we spent on our new baby before he was born and even after.
In some ways both of us wanted our son to grow up having more than we ever had because we had the money to do so. This could be a good thing and a bad thing depending on execution. Growing up Mrs. CBB had a set of books which were children’s encyclopedias, tape recorder, crayons and a colouring book, ball and a few Barbie dolls around the house.
I had a bike, books and liked taking things apart and putting them back. As babies my mum and dad didn’t buy anything near what kids can get today. There wasn’t the money available and I don’t even know if baby products were a huge hit back in the 70’s. I’d expect so with all of the vintage toys and baby products we’ve seen for sale online or on EBay.
Costs for a new baby
I’ve often heard people ask whether babies are expensive and now I know that they are expensive as parents want them to be. Just last week Prince George was in the media because he was wearing a $250 dollar sweater to school which was criticized as going over-board. He’s a Prince and his parents can afford to dress him in posh clothes, so they do. To some this may be way too much and others don’t care.
That means that you as a parent have control over how much money you are spending on your child from the get-go. It doesn’t matter what other parents are doing, it matters what you do. Your budget is the money you get to work with and certainly staying away from putting baby stuff on credit is not recommended. Of course your baby budget will increase your monthly budget but expected. There are lots of ways to save money when making purchases for your baby bundle but many opportunities to spend more.
No matter where we went the baby shop always seemed to be on our list whether it be a quick stop to a second-hand shop, picking up free baby stuff or checking out the deals at retail stores. Baby on the brain I think it’s called and after the baby is born it’s baby brain. I probably have that mixed up but either way when you become a first-time parent your brain turns to mush and into excite mode.
Suddenly you start to review different baby brands on the market that are top of the list and learn what you should stay away from. In fact the more you do research online you’re liable to want a stiff drink because your brain goes into over-load.
Don’t get caught up in buying only the best baby brands on the market because you’ll soon find out you’ve wasted more money than you should have. We bought a well-known name Graco Baby Stroller and car seat for under $150 on sale reg close to $400 taxes in. It was nothing close to top-of-the-line but it was a great price, functional and worked great. He only used the stroller for under 2 years and swapped over to rear facing just before he was 2 years old.
Now it collects dust in our garage so we may offer it for sale as there are still years left on it and it hasn’t been in a car accident. You should always be mindful of buying second-hand car seats and stick to people you know and trust.
The stroller was one purchase we were happy we didn’t go over-board on. This is where you have to ask yourself if you’re buying baby stuff for the brand name or functionality. Do you really need all the gadgets that many of the high-end baby items offer? Probably not but the choice is up to you.
Baby Care Products List
Fast-Forward 35 years and our son has a baby goods store taking over our living space and it was our fault because we didn’t control it. Every time someone would visit they would bring clothes, toys or books and going out shopping meant we had to have a look to see what deals we could find.
Our couponing mode kicked in so we created a baby care products list so we knew what we needed to have in his room and the bathroom before he arrived. Little did we know we could have waited on a few of the items. Let’s just say we have about 10 boxes of diapers in our basement that didn’t need to buy.
Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a great deal especially when you don’t use it. We could easily sell the diapers online but at a loss which doesn’t make it a deal for us at all. It becomes more of a risk when trying to get ahead of the parenting financial game.
What did we have stocked up? Let’s have a look at just the baby products we purchased for health and beauty purposes.
This list is of baby products we spent money on but didn’t need to. Your list may differ from ours dramatically but I’m bringing this post attention to remind new parents to consider waiting and investigating more about what they purchase ahead of time.
- Baby Diapers
- Baby Oil
- Baby Wipes
- Teething gel
- Baby Tylenol
- Baby Wash
- Baby Bubbles
- Baby Night-time Wash
- Baby Shampoo
- Sudocrem Healing Cream, 400gm
- Baby Moisturizer
- Baby Cotton Swabs
- Baby Cotton Balls
- Baby clippers and Tweezers
- Petroleum Jelly
- Digital Infrared Temperature Gun InLife Non-contact IR Thermometer for Baby Children Forehead, Body Surface and Room Digital Thermometer Temperature Measurement
- Baby Snot Sucker
- Baby Aspirator
- Saline Products
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Finger toothbrush
- Baby Brush and Comb
- Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Baby Sunscreen
- Baby Insect Repellent
- First-Aid Kit
- Baby Powder
- Vicks VapoRub, 115ml/100gm- Packaging May Vary
- Baby Cleaning Products
That’s all I could think of off the top of my head but it’s pretty exclusive from what I can remember.
You may even decide to buy all-natural organic baby products for your child which will cost you even more. The problem with buying so much ahead of time is that you may end up wasting money. Not everyone has a baby shower where plenty of parents get enough baby products to stock up for when baby arrives. Even then I’m sure many parents can safely say they didn’t use everything they were given whether it was on a baby registry or not.
I would agree with many parents that it’s better to be stocked up then have nothing at all but it’s important to remember that you really don’t know what you will need until after baby arrives. Our son used sensitive baby wipes and we bought regular Huggies baby wipes so they were a waste of money.
The cleaning products we ended up using turned into vinegar and water because it wasn’t worth having anything else around a newborn baby. We were given a bunch of all-natural cleaning products but did not use them. Sometimes the best gift for new parents is a gift card.
We have boxes of diapers that were never touched, wipes we don’t use, baby wash and other products that aren’t sensitive for our son that we can’t use either. If we had to do it again we’d buy the essentials but only 1 of each until we know what our baby can and can’t use. Your doctor might even have samples that will get you through until you have a better idea of the baby products you should stock up on after baby arrives.
This is one area we went too far in as well because Mrs. CBB had it in her mind that she would breast-feed but if she didn’t she would need bottles etc. We stocked up on bottles, nipples, 2 types of breast pumps manual and electric (not cheap) and other baby gadgets for the months to come including teething items that were hardly used like Sophie the giraffe and mesh feeders.
We also still have more bowls, spoons and cups than you can shake a stick at. The only baby utensil our son used was a baby spoon and that’s it. He went straight to adult utensils. Don’t get me started on drink cups we stocked up on. He didn’t even use them because he had a tongue tie which we had taken care of although sucking was a problem. As he got older he only liked a certain baby bottle and nipple. We had so many.
Although we made lots of homemade baby food we also stocked up on baby food jars when we found them on sale (just in case) every parent says that. In the end I’m sure we only used a few jars and donated the rest. Buying a baby bullet was a waste of money when the food processor and blender worked just as well.
There still are plenty of snack cups he hasn’t used either. I was lucky to find a small stash of mini Tupperware snack cups at Value Village which he still uses to this day.
Mrs. CBB didn’t end up using either of the breast pumps as we had to rent a hospital grade Medela Symphoney pump with more power as her milk was slow coming in. Our son would not latch due to his upper and lower tongue-ties. The $15 nipple suction cup to help our son latch didn’t work nor stay on so that was a waste of money. We do appreciate that we tried though.
The hospital grade breast pump cost us around $80 a month which was pricey but worth it. Most often you can find coupons for breast pumps or run into a shop and buy one if needed. You might not want to breastfeed at all and opt to pump so you will know ahead of time.
Even then you don’t know if your breasts will be happy with the pump you chose. Risk is involved with some of the baby products purchased. The choice is up to the parent but of the $250 we spent on breast pumps we saw $50 back after resale and they were both new.
Where to get baby stuff?
Depending on what you are buying and how much you want to spend you can buy baby stuff at just about every retail store that caters to children. This means you’ll find plenty of shops at your local mall, small local baby shops or even buying online through Amazon Canada or Well.ca.
Another great resource for baby stuff is buying used at second-hand shops, online shopping or at garage sales. Again be aware that you may not need everything you go ga-ga goo-goo over and waste money. Try to hold back especially with the baby clothes and baby toys. We didn’t need to spend $10 on a baby bath robe even though it looked adorable. It is still hanging on our bathroom door brand new.
Other Baby Products We Didn’t Need
- Too many receiving blankets
- Too many towels
- Too many socks
- Too many baby clothes (WAY TOO MUCH)
- Swaddler carriers (2 types)
- Swaddler blankets (just did it like the hospital taught me with the receiving blanket)
- Baby books (we had hundreds)
- Teething cookies (what a mess and he didn’t eat them)
- Toys that were similar
- Jumpy thing (too big and he hated it) Costs $100
- Extra Baby Bags (just in case)
- Baby Bottles galore
- Baby wipes warmer
- Baby Bottle warmer
- Stroller Bug Net
- Rain Cover for stroller
- Hand mittens (useless never stayed on)
- Diaper Caddy (no time for that)
- Shopping Cart Cover
- Height Chart Wooden
- Diaper Genie (sold it never used it)
- Baby DVD’s (no interest)
- Pee-pee teepee ( haha now that I think about it and we paid $10 for it)
- Baby Robe (put it on and he took it off)
- Too many Pj’s with buttons and onsie type (he hated them and prefers tops and bottoms)
- Potty (he uses the regular toilet instead)
- Play Pen (never used it and had a Graco)
- Dr. Browns Baby Formula mixing Jug
- Too many Bibs (about 50) enough for the week should be good or even 2 weeks.
- Baby mobile and other crib toys
- Toddler bed x 2 (sold one already)
- Stuffed animals
- Room decor (keep it simple they grow up fast)
- Breast Feeding Pillow
- Too many Swimming diapers
- Baby swimming blow up ring and other outdoor pool items
- Baby sprinkler
- Little Tikes Outdoor Climber ( sun fades,cracks and gets dirty, stains and too clunky)
- Little Tikes BBQ hardly used as he’d rather use pots and pans in the kitchen
- Little Tikes Basketball net x 2 not a big deal for our son.
- Toy Organizer Bin Stand
The more baby stuff you have the more work you have to do whether it be organizing, washing and cleaning. Not only that but if you want to get rid of it you either have to spend time selling it or you cut your losses and donate it all to those parents in need or to a local charity shop.
Our front-facing car seat we splurged on just over $300 but it has 2 cup holders, easy to wash and handle and it has been perfect. We bought a second-hand one for $50 which has come in handy on many occasions especially when travelling.
Sell Baby Products
Over the past 3 months I’d say we’ve sold any baby products that we have around the house that we no longer need or haven’t used. We have made lots of money back and in some cases more than what we spent but other products we lost money on.
This past weekend we bought our son a set of trundle wood bunk beds with a stairwell instead of a ladder and will sell his second toddler bed set which he did not use. Now we will be purchasing 2 twin mattresses, mattress covers, twin sheet sets and a comforter. Hopefully he can learn to love his new bunk beds for the next 8 to 10 years.
If you want your living space back and to build your savings account don’t be the parents who rush out to bring the store home wait a bit and plan to buy after the baby is born.
Discussion Question: What were some baby products you bought but never used? Would you prefer a gift card as a gift if someone wanted to buy your baby a gift? Did you have a baby shower?
Leave me your comments below and I will respond to each and every one of them.
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